Fantasy Power Rankings No. 29 — St. Louis
Save for one player — running back Zac Stacy — the St. Louis Rams boast one of the least enticing rosters from a fantasy football perspective. The team checks in at No. 29 on the 2014 fantasy power rankings.
The Rams offer fantasy owners 68 percent of the value the average NFL team does. Similarly, St. Louis has 38.6 percent of the value of the NFL’s best team.
The Rams frustrated fantasy owners last season by courting numerous running backs before settling with Stacy, which was ultimately the right move. The team bolstered its offensive line with the addition of Greg Robinson with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, helping Stacy’s fantasy value in the process. He figures to be a low-end RB1 or high-end RB2 for fantasy owners again in 2014, but not much can be said for the rest of the team.
Tavon Austin failed to make a big splash his rookie season, but we can give him the benefit of the doubt — rookie receivers are rarely good fantasy options. The general consensus is that the Rams were their own worst enemy when it came to Austin’s lackluster freshman campaign. If true, that would be both good and bad news. The good part is that the Rams could easily fix that problem by tweaking their game plan. The bad part is that the coaches are the same as last season.
The team failed to get Austin the ball in open space on a regular basis and were unable to use his unique skillets to their advantage. The hope is that St. Louis’ Offensive Coordinator Brian Schottenheimer does a better job utilizing Austin in 2014. Assuming the team is at least moderately successful at accomplishing this — and considering that quarterback Sam Bradford will be back under center — Austin could be a WR3 or solid “Flex” option.
Jared Cook finished last season as the 12th highest-scoring tight end in points-per-reception (PPR) leagues. However, you should take Cook’s final 2013 stat line with a grain of salt. He scored over 20 percent of his total points in Week 1 alone, when he blew up with seven receptions for 141 yards and two touchdowns. He never came close to repeating that performance.
With that being said, Cook should finish 2014 as a tail-end TE1 or high-end TE2. Like last season, it’s unlikely Cook will be a viable weekly fantasy starter, but he will be one of the top tight end backups and is an intriguing option for fantasy owners looking to “stream” tight ends.
The return of Sam Bradford will bring stability to the quarterback position in St. Louis. Even though Bradford himself won’t be much of a fantasy factor in 2014, his presence should help the team’s receivers from a fantasy perspective. The Rams will be a run-first team and the quarterback position is so deep that Bradford fills the role of waiver wire backup.
The Rams’ backfield is the 18th most valuable from a fantasy perspective, and the wide receivers are just the 29th most valuable. Despite being low in the overall rankings, the Rams are well ahead of teams No. 30-32.
No. 30 — Carolina Panthers
No. 31 — New York Jets
No. 32 — Oakland Raiders